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The masters of Hammer's Vault of Horror are at it again...,
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This review is from: Blood From Mummy's Tomb [VHS] (VHS Tape)
Throughout the years Hammer Films meant quality horror pictures.
Spanning more than a decade these tiny jewels had true gothic flair.
Made on very tight budgets and at lightning speeds they swiftly outran equivalent products from Hollywood.
Who has forgotten Christopher Lee's Dracula or Peter Cushing's Baron Frankenstein?
The glory came to Hammer when in the late fifties, they produced the remakes of "The Mummy", "Frankenstein" (as "Curse of Frankenstein") and "Dracula" (as "Horror of Dracula").
In the years that followed a number of sequels of these remakes followed, starting with the Frankenstein series and followed by the Dracula series. They all were more or less good or successful but gained a horde of loyal fans and this fact alone made the fortune of Hammer Films.
The Mummy instead, a bit like the title role, limped slowly behind. The first one was a lavish remake of Boris Karloff's version. The ones which followed were decaying with the mummy.
Starting with "Curse of the Mummy's Tomb" (1964) which was more a parody than anything else, through "The Mummy's Shroud" (1967) which was a poor attempt at combining the Fantasy genre (witches and curses in fairytales) to the Horror of the Mummy, to a last, and may I say, better attempt which is the one I am reviewing now: "Blood from the Mummy's Tomb" (1972).
Strangely enough, this one was released at a time when Hammer was already on the way to its decline (see the flops with "The Satanic Rites of Dracula" (1973) and "The Legend of the Seven Golden Vampires" (1974)).
As many other reviewers stated, this one was very loosely adapted from a Bram Stoker's short Novel. It seems to have worked, also because the Mummy is for once a woman, not a man, but can be as deadly if not more lethal than a man.
The acting is always discreet and well balanced.
The strange thing with Hammer movies is that they always included the best the British stage world had to offer. Besides the names already mentioned, you had Geoffrey Keen, Ralph Bates, Andre Morell, Martine Beswick, Thorley Walters, Joan Fontaine, Kay Walsh, Alec McCowen among others.
They all made fantastic careers afterwards or revived their images courtesy of Hammer.
If you are a Hammer Horror fan this movie is a must. If you're new to Hammer I suggest that you familiarize yourself with the very first ones and move on from there.
In any case it's always a pleasure to watch them. Their gothic flair, being gory to a point but always with taste and never hitting you with cheap thrills but rather building a momentum to the point you can't stand the tension anymore and then swiftly changing mood to alleviate your nerve tingling, are all points in favor of the Hammer Saga of Success.
There are just two choices for Horror/Fantasy movies of the sixties: Hammer Films or Roger Corman's Edgar Allan Poe's adaptations, starring the late, but highly talented Vincent Price
I only hope we could get back to that freshness and yes, the naivete', that was the Hammer/Corman style.